mercredi 31 mai 2017

Trump Believes in Father Christmas

U.S. Believes China Is Using 'Back Channel' to Stop North Korea Missile Tests
By Edith M. Lederer

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said Tuesday the Trump administration believes China is using "back channel networking" with North Korea to try and get Kim Jong Un to stop nuclear and ballistic missile testing.
"We believe they are being productive," she told reporters. 
"We do think they're trying to counter what is happening now."
Haley said China knows North Korea best "and so we're going to keep the pressure on China, but we're going to continue to work with them in any way that they think is best."
At the same time, Haley said, the United States and China are discussing the timing of a new Security Council resolution that would toughen sanctions against North Korea in response to its latest ballistic missile launches. 
The latest launch on Monday was the third in three weeks.
Beijing has significant influence over North Korea, 90 percent of whose trade is with China.
But China's U.N. ambassador, Liu Jieyi, made clear last week that Beijing's top priority is to restart talks with North Korea following its multiple tests to try to reduce tensions rather than impose new sanctions. 
He stressed that all progress with Pyongyang on eliminating nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula has come through dialogue.
Haley said Washington and Beijing are trying to decide the best way to approach North Korea.
"I don't think it's backpedaling as much as nothing is changing North Korea's actions," she said. 
"If this is going to happen every other day, how should we respond in a way that we actually stop these things, or slow it down?"
"I think we're having those conversations this week, and I hope that we can come up with a final solution," Haley added.
Earlier this month, she said Beijing was not engaging on a new resolution, but she told reporters Tuesday that she has heard from the Chinese and the discussions now are about "at what point do we do the resolution."
The Security Council has imposed six rounds of increasingly tough sanctions on North Korea.
Pyongyang's reaction has been defiance and stepped up testing to improve its nuclear arsenal and achieve its goal of being able to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead capable of reaching the United States.
North Korea's deputy U.N. ambassador, Kim In Ryong, told U.N. correspondents on May 19 that his government will rapidly strengthen its nuclear strike capability as long as the United States maintains its "hostile policy" toward the country.
He said that if the Trump administration wants peace on the Korean peninsula it should replace the armistice agreement that ended the 1950-53 Korean War with a peace accord and halt its anti-North Korea policy, which he called "the root cause of all problems."
The Trump administration has said there should be no talks until North Korea takes steps toward getting rid of its nuclear arsenal.

China Woos South Korea’s New Leader

To THAAD or not to THAAD?
Moon Jae-in, center, at the presidential Blue House in Seoul in May. China is trying to woo Mr. Moon and chip away at the American alliance with South Korea. 

BEIJING — When he assumed power in 2013, Xi Jinping tried to court one of America’s main Asian allies, South Korea. 
It worked for a while. Then the relationship soured.
South Korea’s president at the time, Park Geun-hye, showed great respect for Xi, appearing shoulder to shoulder with him at a military parade in Tiananmen Square, the only American ally to do so. 
Then she turned on Xi when he declined to rein in North Korea as much as she had expected.
Now Xi is trying again, wooing South Korea’s new leader, Moon Jae-in, and still hoping to chip away at the American alliance with South Korea and to fortify China’s position in Northeast Asia.
Moon, a proponent of engagement with North Korea, is a more natural friend for Xi than the conservative Ms. Park, who is in jail facing corruption charges.
As North Korea steps up the frequency of its missile tests and prepares for a sixth nuclear test, it has become more important for China to make common cause with South Korea if it wants to find a diplomatic solution to the standoff with the North, as Beijing insists that it does.
China’s relationship with North Korea, its ostensible ally, is at a ragged low, and its ties with the South are in poor shape. 
All at once, Beijing is at odds with both Koreas.
But while Xi welcomes Moon as a preferable alternative to Ms. Park, he is concerned about one point of contention.
Xi has made it clear that an American missile defense system that was authorized by Ms. Park and quickly set up by the United States in South Korea just before Moon took office is a major obstacle to good relations.
Beijing complains that the system, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense battery, known as Thaad, which the Americans designed to protect South Korea against the North, undermines China’s missile force and its ability to deter a nuclear attack.
China views Thaad as just one element in an effort to contain its military by building a strategic architecture that would eventually connect South Korea, Japan and the United States.
Part of the American missile defense system arriving in Seongju in April. During the South Korean election campaign, Moon said he opposed the rushed deployment of the system, known as Thaad.

“Stopping the deployment of Thaad is the bottom line of China,” said Global Times, a state-run newspaper that often reflects the thinking of the Communist Party leadership, soon after Moon’s election. 
“Seoul needs to make a choice between deploying Thaad and resuming Sino-South Korean relations. It should not hope to have it both ways.”
How is Moon, a lawyer, going to finesse the demands of China that Thaad disappear, and the insistence of the United States that it remain?
It will be difficult, Chinese experts say. 
Xi will try to persuade Moon to make some unpalatable compromises, they say, ones that would not sit well with the American military.
Already, Moon appears to be at loggerheads with the Pentagon. 
On Tuesday, he ordered a wide-ranging investigation into how four new Thaad launchers had arrived in South Korea without his knowledge. 
The launchers are intended to supplement the two Thaad installations already in place.
But even rejecting the new equipment may not satisfy China.
“South Korea could make a promise to only allow one set of Thaad on its territory,” said Cheng Xiaohe, an associate professor of international relations at Renmin University in Beijing. 
Cheng was referring to assessments that South Korea does not have sufficient Thaad batteries yet to protect the entire country, and will need more.
“But that’s not enough,” Cheng added. 
“China could ask South Korea not to join a trilateral alliance with Japan and the United States.” 
Since the 1990s, China has been concerned that the United States wants to form a NATO-like alliance on its doorstep.
China could also demand that Moon’s government allow China to verify that Thaad’s radar system can detect incoming missiles only within 800 kilometers (about 500 miles) and not 2,000 kilometers (about 1,200 miles), Cheng said.
But intrusive inspection of Thaad on South Korean territory by China for verification purposes would be rejected by the Pentagon, he acknowledged.
A Chinese rocket scientist, Wu Riqiang, said in an interview that the Thaad system allowed the United States to monitor Chinese intercontinental ballistic missiles from the moment they were fired from bases in central China. 
The American military would then have the ability to differentiate between real warheads and decoys carried on the missiles, thus weakening China’s deterrent.
“I don’t think China can persuade South Korea to give up Thaad,” said Wu, an arms control expert who has worked at China’s Defense Ministry. 
In response to the missile defense system next door, he added, “China will build more nuclear weapons but won’t do so publicly.”
During the South Korean election campaign, Moon said he opposed the rushed deployment of Thaad, noting that it had not been put to a vote.
A South Korean envoy, Lee Hae-chan, meeting with Xi Jinping in Beijing in May. Lee was on a mission to mend the rift between the countries that began under President Park Geun-hye.

Moon has asked South Korean lawmakers to assess the initial decision on deployment, a move intended to buy some time.
“There is a search for a face-saving trigger,” said John Delury, associate professor of Chinese studies at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea. 
“During the review, the Thaad equipment would stay there but would be turned off.”
Despite the difficulties over the missile defense system, China senses that it has a better chance of driving a wedge between South Korea and the United States with Moon than with his predecessor, especially with Trump in the White House.
Since the Korean War, when the United States fought to prevent the North from overrunning the South, American presidents have kept their commitments to the alliance.
Xi can capitalize on Trump’s distaste for alliances. 
In April, Trump called a five-year-old American trade accord with South Korea “a horrible deal” that had left America “destroyed.”
During his campaign, Trump accused South Korea of not paying its share to maintain 28,500 American troops in the country, although once he took office he called the alliance “ironclad.”
Trump’s grumbling probably strikes South Koreans as more true to form. 
The president sent shudders through the South Korean election campaign in April when he said he wanted Seoul to pay the estimated $1 billion cost of Thaad.
The opening moves between Xi and Moon have taken place indirectly and under subdued circumstances. 
They have yet to meet.
A South Korean envoy, Lee Hae-chan, arrived in Beijing shortly after Moon assumed office.
Xi took matters into his own hands, showing who was in charge. 
At a session between the Chinese and South Korean delegations in Beijing, Xi sat alone at a head table with the other officials seated below him, a choreography meant to show China’s dominance that was widely noted.
After the deployment of Thaad, Beijing, which is Seoul’s largest trading partner, encouraged Chinese consumers to boycott South Korean cars, phones, bands, television shows and even kimchi. 
Using the pretext of safety violations, the Chinese authorities closed half of the 112 stores operated in China by the South Korean conglomerate Lotte, and the company’s website was hacked. 
Chinese tourism to South Korea slowed to a trickle.
There has been only grudging relief.
The day after Lee’s visit, the Lotte website was restored. 
But the stores remain shuttered, possibly pending a positive move by Moon on the American missile defense system in South Korea.

Banana Republic: The Chinese Collusion

Activist probing factories making Ivanka Trump shoes in China arrested
By John Ruwitch | SHANGHAI

Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump speaks at The MISK Event on the second day of his visit to Saudi Arabia, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 21, 2017. 

A man has been arrested and two are missing in China after conducting an investigation into a Chinese company making Ivanka Trump-branded shoes, China Labor Watch, a New York-based advocacy group, said on Wednesday.
Labor activist Hua Haifeng was arrested in Jiangxi province on suspicion of illegally using eavesdropping equipment, according to Li Qiang, executive director of the group China Labor Watch.
The three men had been investigating labor conditions at factories that produce shoes for Ivanka Trump, the daughter of  Donald Trump, and other Western brands, he said in an email.
"We appeal to Trump, Ivanka Trump herself, and to her related brand company to advocate and press for the release our activists," China Labor Watch said in the email to Reuters.
The Ivanka Trump brand declined to comment while the White House and Ivanka Trump's lawyer, Jamie Gorelick, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Calls to provincial police in Jiangxi and Ganzhou city police were not answered.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said she did know anything about the situation and declined further comment.
The reported arrest and disappearances come at a time of sustained pressure on labor activists in China amid a crackdown on civil society under Xi Jinping.
In recent years, many labor rights activists have reported being intimidated and harassed, detained, or restricted in their movement.
Li said in 17 years of activism, including investigations of hundreds of factories in China, his group had never had anyone arrested on suspicion of having committed a crime.
"This is the first time we've come across this kind of situation," he said, adding the accusation against Hua had "no factual basis".


Rights group Amnesty International called for the release of the three if they were held only for investigating possible labor abuses at the factories.
"Activists exposing potential human rights abuses deserve protection not persecution," said William Nee, the group's China researcher.
"The trio appear to be the latest to fall foul of the Chinese authorities’ aggressive campaign against human rights activists who have any ties to overseas organizations, using the pretence of 'national security'."
China Labor Watch's Li said Hua and another investigator, Li Zhao, had worked covertly at a shoe factory in the city of Dongguan, in Guangdong province, that was owned by the Huajian Group.
The third investigator, Su Heng, had worked at a related factory in the city of Ganzhou in Jiangxi but went incommunicado after May 27. 
Both factories produced Ivanka Trump-branded shoes, Li Qiang said.
The investigators had discovered evidence that workers' rights had been violated, Li said.
Hua had been investigating a vocational school in Jiangxi affiliated with Huajian Group when he was arrested.
A woman surnamed Mu who said she was in charge of recruitment at Huajian said she had not heard about the case.
A switchboard operator at Huajian's headquarters declined to transfer Reuters to company officials in a position to address questions about the situation.
Hua and Li Zhao had been warned by authorities weeks ago that they were suspected of having broken the law, and were barred from crossing the border into Hong Kong in April and May, Li Qiang said.

mardi 30 mai 2017

The bully of Asia

US senator urges Australia to join freedom of navigation operations in South China Sea
By Jamie Smyth in Sydney

US Senator John McCain speaking in Sydney on Tuesday.

Senator John McCain has accused China of acting like “bully” in the Asia-Pacific region by using its economic strength to coerce neighbours and making territorial claims in the South China Sea that are not backed up by international law. 
In a speech during a visit to Australia on Tuesday, the US senator suggested Canberra should join the US in taking part in freedom of navigation operations in the disputed South China Sea.
He also acknowledged US partners around the world had concerns about the administration of Donald Trump but called on them to have patience and stick with America in the face of a resurgent China and Russia. 
The challenge is that as China has grown wealthier and stronger, it is acting more and more like a bully. It is refusing to open more of its economy so that foreign businesses can compete fairly.”
“It is stealing other peoples’ intellectual property. It is asserting vast territorial claims that have no basis in international law. And it is using its trade and investment as tools to coerce its neighbours.” 
Mr McCain, who is chairman of the US Senate’s armed services committee, said he did not envisage conflict with Beijing but said it was better if Australia and the US dealt with the strategic challenges posed by China together with other partners in the Asia-Pacific region.
Mr McCain is due to attend a major defence summit in Singapore this week where he is expected to reach out to allies in the Asia Pacific region which are nervous about US policy. 
“I realise some of Trump’s actions and statements have unsettled America’s friends. They have unsettled many Americans,” he said.
“[But] I believe that Australia, and our other allies and partners can still count on America.” 
Mr McCain acknowledged the US was going through a “rough patch” and there was a real debate under way in the US about what kind of role America should play in the world. 
“Frankly, I don’t know how this debate will play out. But I do believe — and I don’t think I’m exaggerating here — that the future of the world will turn to a large extent on how this debate in America is resolved.” 
During his trip to Australia Mr McCain said he believed Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, was a bigger threat than Isis following the country’s attempt to interfere with the US election. 
Mr McCain’s visit to Australia comes at a sensitive time for Australia’s 65-year-old military alliance with the US.
Trump’s election victory and a difficult first phone call with Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s prime minister, which the US president described as his “worst call by far”, has caused some politicians to call for a recalibration of the relationship.
Public support for the alliance is at a near-decade low. 
There is concern in Canberra that it could become caught in the middle of a tug of war between the Trump administration and China, Australia’s largest trading partner.
So far the government of Mr Turnbull has not performed a freedom of navigation operation within one of the 12-nautical mile boundaries set by China by means of its territorial claims to disputed islets in the South China Sea. 
Mr McCain said it would be unfair to ask Australia to choose the US at the expense of China. 
“That is a false choice. The real choice, the real question, is whether Australia and America are better off dealing with China’s strategic and economic challenges together, or by ourselves.”

Rogue Nation

China Should Be Ejected from the SDR

SANTA BARBARA – Last week, the Chinese government tightened its grip on the renminbi’s exchange rate. 
China has now effectively reneged on a promise it made 18 months ago, when it lobbied its way into the basket of currencies that determines the value of the International Monetary Fund’s synthetic reserve asset, the Special Drawing Right (SDR).
China’s latest move will hardly strengthen confidence in its currency. 
As some of us warned at the time, the renminbi’s admission to the SDR basket was a highly political decision that could have adverse long-term consequences. 
The basket had previously comprised the US dollar, the euro, the British pound, and the Japanese yen – all world-class currencies that meet the IMF’s two criteria for admission: they are issued by the world’s leading exporters, and they are “freely usable,” meaning that they are widely exchanged worldwide.
By contrast, the renminbi met only the first criterion when it was included in the SDR. 
Although China was already the world’s largest exporting country, its financial markets were primitive, and its currency plainly fell far short of being freely usable. 
In 2015, the renminbi ranked seventh in global central-bank reserves, eighth in international bond issuance, and 11th in global currency trading; and it remained non-convertible for most capital-account transactions.
Still, the renminbi was admitted. 
China had made it abundantly clear that it would not be happy with a negative decision, and no one wanted to poke the dragon. 
But rather than upholding its usual standards, the IMF and its principal members settled for China’s vague promise to make the renminbi more usable sometime in the future.
Historically, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) had fixed the renminbi’s exchange rate on a daily basis, without regard to underlying market sentiment; and it had allowed for the renminbi to trade only within very narrow limits. 
But even before the IMF decided to include the renminbi in the SDR, the Chinese government announced that it was loosening its control over the currency. 
The PBOC declared that market signals would henceforth be factored into its daily exchange-rate fixing. 
And it promised gradual liberalization of China’s capital controls, which would boost the renminbi’s attractiveness to investors.
And yet the Chinese authorities’ latest move indicates that they have no intention of playing by the rules. 
Instead of further loosening its grip on the exchange rate, the PBOC is reasserting control and reducing the role of market sentiment in its decision-making.
The proof is in the pudding: the renminbi is clearly less freely usable than it was 18 months ago. Since mid-2016, China has been imposing strict new capital controls to prevent the renminbi from pouring out of the country and being converted into dollars. 
China has also placed new limits on Chinese corporations’ foreign direct investments, and it is scrutinizing other cross-border transactions.
It is not difficult to understand why China has reneged on its promises. 
Over the past two years, newly affluent Chinese citizens have been seeking ways to move their wealth abroad. 
This has increased downward pressure on the renminbi, and has forced the PBOC to spend more than $1 trillion in foreign-exchange reserves to prop up the exchange rate. 
And yet that still wasn’t enough to prevent Moody’s Investors Service from downgrading China’s credit rating earlier this month, leaving policymakers on the defensive.
Of course, China’s current problems may amount to a brief detour on the long road to greater openness. 
But they may not. 
If the Chinese government is serious about opening its capital market, it will have to implement reforms that go straight to the heart of the Chinese Communist Party’s model of political and economic management. 
An efficient, open financial sector could seriously erode the CCP’s authority, not least because financial repression is a key component in China’s machinery of political autocracy.
At best, China’s government acted prematurely when it insisted that the renminbi be included in the SDR. 
At worst, it set an unfortunate precedent that could encourage other big emerging economies, such as India or Russia, to demand the same treatment for their currencies, regardless of whether they meet the IMF’s criteria. 
Indeed, if China can get into such a prestigious, exclusive club despite its arbitrary policy behavior, then why can’t they? 
Never mind that the IMF’s authority would be severely compromised.
Looking to the future, there is only one solution. 
The renminbi should be removed from the SDR, unless China can make credible commitments to pursue serious and permanent financial liberalization. 
The criterion that a constitutive currency should be freely usable is a guarantee of stability for the global monetary system. 
That guarantee is only as credible as the criterion itself.

Axis of Evil

North Korea is helping China in the South China Sea
By Steve Mollman
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches the test of a new-type anti-aircraft guided weapon system organised by the Academy of National Defence Science in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) May 28, 2017.
Like most of the world, China is fed up with North Korea, which yesterday (May 29), in defiance of international pressure, conducted its third missile test in three weeks. 
The unpleasant neighbor is steadily progressing toward its goal: the ability to hit much of the world, including the US mainland, with nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles.
But, for Beijing, North Korea’s saber-rattling does serve one useful purpose: It distracts attention from the contested South China Sea. 
Last year, the world fretted over China’s territorial aggression in that resource-rich waterway, with critics warning it could become virtually a “Chinese lake.” 
Beijing claims nearly the entire sea, based on what an international tribunal ruled last July to be bogus reasoning, both legally and historically.
Now, thanks to North Korea, the issue has faded into the background—just as China might have hoped.
When US secretary of state James Mattis appeared on Face the Nation this past Sunday (May 28), he talked at length about North Korea, which he described as a “direct threat” to the United States, adding that a conflict there would be “probably the worst kind of fighting in most people’s lifetimes.”
The South China Sea didn’t come up.
That was notable since just four days earlier the US conducted a “freedom of navigation” operation (Fonop) in the sea’s Spratly archipelago, where China has been steadily improving upon seven militarized islands it’s built atop reefs. 
Taking place at Mischief Reef, it was the first Fonop under Trump, and some took it as the start of a more challenging stance.
More likely, though, the operation was timed for the June 2 Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual meeting in Singapore of the region’s defense ministers. 
It would have been difficult for Mattis, who will attend the gathering, to reassure his counterparts about America’s ongoing commitment to the area without having done a single Fonop since Trump took office.
Meanwhile China continues to make steady progress fortifying its military installations in the sea, while on the diplomatic front it routinely warns other nations against saying or doing anything that challenges its stance. 
For instance, it recently fitted out its manmade island at Fiery Cross Reef with an anti-frogman rocket launcher defense system, and it admonished Japan and New Zealand for agreeing that last July’s ruling should be adhered to with regards to the South China Sea.
North Korea has its own reasons for attracting attention to its weapons tests and improving capabilities. 
It has a long history of selling arms to other countries, including Syria and Iran, and each test serves as an advertisement of sorts. (It faces sanctions on selling arms but has shown it can work around them.) 
Greater offensive capability also means greater negotiating power in any future talks about reducing arms. 
Pyongyang cashed in after conducting its first test of a nuclear bomb in 2006. 
It soon received a substantial US-led aid package in exchange for denuclearizing (which never happened).
US secretary of state Rex Tillerson said in late April that the US isn’t interested in forcing regime change in North Korea and instead wants to begin negotiations about denuclearization.
Meanwhile Trump has indicated that, in exchange for help on North Korea, he’s willing to be less tough on China in other areas, including trade. 
He said in late April: “I think that, frankly, North Korea is maybe more important than trade. Trade is very important. But massive warfare with millions, potentially millions of people being killed? That, as we would say, trumps trade.”
He’s likely applying the same logic to the South China Sea. 
A recent Foreign Affairs column noted, “Exactly why the South China Sea has fallen off the administration’s agenda is not clear. But it is possible that U.S. officials have decided to lift the pressure on China’s maritime outposts because they believe that doing so could help secure Beijing’s help in managing North Korea.”
Meanwhile a transcript of a recent call between Trump and Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte showed the US president urging his counterpart to call Beijing and “tell them we are all counting on China” with regards to pressuring North Korea.
When it comes to the South China Sea, both Trump and Duterte have been accused of being soft on Beijing. 
According to the transcript, the issue of the sea didn’t come up at all during their conversation. Duterte warned Trump that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is “playing with his bombs” and “might just go crazy.”
China’s strategy in the sea has been described assalami slicing,” as in making advances just small enough to avoid a strong reaction, and then slowly continuing to do that. 
It’s already achieved much in the South China Sea using this subtle tactic. 
North Korea’s attention-grabbing antics are making it all the easier to pull off.

Taiwan burnishes its freedom credentials even as China closes diplomatic doors

By Kirsty Needham 

Beijing -- For Taiwan, it has been the best of weeks and the worst of weeks.
First it suffered its biggest diplomatic humiliation in a decade, shut out of the world's peak health summit in Geneva, at China's demand.
Yet just two days later, the island was exalted by the international community for breaking new ground in Asia as Taiwan's high court ruled in favour of same-sex marriage.
Both events came as Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen marked a year since her inauguration, and a seismic shift in Taiwan's politics.
First year in office: Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. 

For nine years under her predecessor Ma Ying-jeou, the Kuomintang (KMT) had built an economic bridge to China, allowing direct flights, tourism, and trade, but overreached and alienated young voters facing high unemployment.
In her inauguration speech as president, Ms Tsai -- leader of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which has traditionally leaned towards independence -- had refused to acknowledge Beijing's core policy on cross-strait relations, the so-called 1992 Consensus that there is one China.
China froze official communication
The consequences are still flowing. 
Chinese tourist numbers to Taiwan fell 42 per cent in the first three months of 2017.
On Friday a former DPP employee, human rights activist Li Ming-che, became the first Taiwanese to be arrested in China on subversion charges. 
His wife, Li Ching-yu, said on Monday she is yet to be notified by the Chinese government, despite previous agreements between China and Taiwan that notification of a detention occur within 24 hours.
Taiwan's annual sky lantern festival is among its major attractions for tourists.

China has racheted up efforts to isolate Taiwan internationally.
After meeting Xi Jinping at the Belt and Road forum in Beijing on May 18, Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama shut down his country's representative office in Taipei the next day. 
Only 21 small nations offer diplomatic recognition to Taiwan.
The tourism industry in Taiwan, seen here during a protest in September, is feeling the pinch as relations with mainland China go sour. 

Australia, which abides by the One China policy, was among the four major countries to risk China's ire and speak in Taiwan's support at the opening of the World Health Assembly on May 22.
Australia's Chief Medical Officer, Brendan Murphy, told the meeting it was "Australia's strong view" that the World Health Organisation was unique and needed to be as inclusive as possible.
Same-sex marriage supporters cheer after Taiwan's Constitutional Court ruled in favour of same-sex marriage. 

"The practice over the last eight years of inviting Taiwan as an observer to the WHA was a valuable signal of the WHO's engagement with Taiwan and Australia supports this practice continuing," Mr Murphy said in Australia's opening statement, according to a transcript.
But China's view that Taiwan couldn't attend because Ms Tsai refused to acknowledge the 1992 Consensus prevailed.
December 2016: Tsai Ing-wen (centre) speaks on the phone with US President-elect Donald Trump, prompting an angry backlash from Beijing. 

Sheryn Lee, a Macquarie University associate lecturer in security studies, says China's moves to cut off Taiwan's voice in the international area have "taken a step up" since Ms Tsai's inauguration, and have a long-term objective of reunification.
"Taiwan receives less and less recognition for its de facto sovereignty," she says.
"I think the election of Trump and his phone call [with] Tsai definitely did not help. Taiwan-China relations must also consider the US and its security guarantee for Taiwan. If the US's 'strategic ambiguity' approach becomes dismantled because of Trump's erratic [behaviour], then Taiwan-China relations will worsen."
Ms Lee says Ms Tsai was voted in to address domestic socio-economic problems, so both political parties in Taiwan are invested in maintaining the status quo in cross-strait relations.
But she says clearly acknowledging the 1992 Consensus would be a "political nightmare" for Ms Tsai, as 42 per cent of voters in Taiwan are swing voters.
Jerome Cohen, an NYU law professor and senior fellow at the US Council on Foreign Relations think tank, says the same-sex marriage ruling was "a shot in the arm for Taiwan's standing in the world".
His former students famously include the last president, Mr Ma.
Professor Cohen wrote that Taiwan's constitutional court ruling "reminds people of the immense progress [Taiwan] has made, although a Chinese civilisation, in instituting legal protection for human rights, judicial independence, separation of powers and all the other 'Western values' openly condemned on the [Chinese] mainland at present."
News of Taiwan's same-sex marriage ruling ricocheted through Australian social media, where politicians, same-sex marriage advocates and opponents alike were reminded that Taiwan is different to China.
Professor Cohen points out Taiwan's national security and survival depend on the willingness of the US, Japan and other democratic countries to guarantee its protection against the threat of military action by mainland China.
"That willingness will turn in large part on the extent to which those countries are aware of Taiwan's accomplishments in achieving political freedoms," he wrote.

China's War on Law: Five Names to Listen for at the EU-China Summit

EU Should Call for Release of Activists Unjustly Imprisoned
By Lotte Leicht

Federica Mogherini (L), High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, and China's State Councilor Yang Jiechi attend a joint news conference at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China April 19, 2017. 

Torture, wrongful imprisonment, restrictions on everything from peaceful expression, to religious practice, to the number of children you can have: these are some of the most persistent human rights abuses in China today. 
Under the dictator Xi Jinping, whose senior officials arrive in Brussels this week for the European Union-China Summit, courageous human rights defenders, lawyers and academics in China have sustained an extraordinary body blow.
The Chinese government’s treatment of five people is emblematic of all that is wrong in China today:
Scholar and 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo is serving an 11-year sentence for “inciting subversion” in response to his calls for democratic reform.
Ethnic Uighur economist Ilham Tohti is serving a life sentence for having urged dialogue between different ethnic groups, particularly in the predominantly Muslim area of Xinjiang.
Tibetan language rights advocate Tashi Wangchuk awaits trial for telling his story to the New York Times.
Lawyer Wang Quanzhang, detained since July 2015, is facing subversion charges for his work defending in court members of religious minorities.
Women’s rights activist Su Changlan was convicted on subversion charges in retaliation for her work defending victims of domestic violence.
The EU has pledged to “throw its full weight behind advocates of liberty, democracy and human rights” and to “raise human rights issues” including “at the highest level.” 
If that’s the case, the summit is an ideal opportunity for the EU’s highest officials to explicitly call for these people’s release. 
After all, the EU’s human rights pledges will only be meaningful if applied in real situations, with determination and conviction.
The EU has acknowledged that human rights improvements in China are key to the future of their bilateral relationship, and calling for the freedom of those unjustly imprisoned is an obvious place to start. 
That the summit falls just ahead of the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre – an event that galvanized China’s contemporary human rights community – places a responsibility on EU leaders to call for accountability from Beijing. 
The EU should demonstrate the strength and solidarity that won it the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize by insisting on the release of the 2010 winner – and all others unjustly imprisoned by Beijing.

lundi 29 mai 2017

China: EU Summit Should Make Rights A Priority

EU Needs to Deploy ‘Full Weight’ to Ease Crackdown

From left, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Chinese President Xi Jinping and European Council President Donald Tusk pose for photos before a meeting held at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China, on July 12, 2016.

European Union leaders should publicly and privately press China’s government to end its crackdown on human rights and immediately release all detained activists, Human Rights Watch said today in a joint letter with a dozen other nongovernmental organizations. 
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Council President Donald Tusk, and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini will attend the EU-China Summit in Brussels with senior Chinese officials on June 1-2, 2017.
“The EU has pledged to ‘throw its full weight behind advocates of liberty, democracy and human rights’ and do so at the ‘highest level,’” said Lotte Leicht, EU director at Human Rights Watch. 
“EU leaders need to make good on their pledges and make human rights and the freeing of peaceful activists a top strategic priority in the EU’s relationship with China.”
The organizations noted that on various occasions, the EU has publicly decried the deteriorating human rights situation in China, expressed support for independent civil society, and urged the release of imprisoned activists. 
Yet the EU and its member states have generally failed to move beyond rhetorical approaches and used their collective leverage to forcefully press Chin – an EU strategic partner and second largest trading partner – to end its increasingly brutal crackdown on those who peacefully dissent government policies, journalists who write on sensitive issues, and lawyers who defend activists in court.
The organizations urged EU leaders to take several steps, including suspending the bilateral human rights dialogue until a meaningful exchange with the Chinese government can be established, ensuring that human rights concerns are discussed in all other EU-China meetings, and explaining steps the EU and its member states will take if China does not act to end abuses and release jailed activists.
The EU-China Summit will be held three days ahead of the 28th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing. 
The EU retains an arms embargo against China because of these mass killings and EU leaders should stress the need for a thorough, transparent investigation into the massacre, accountability for the crimes, and adequate compensation for victims and their families.
In addition to Human Rights Watch, the letter was signed by Amnesty International, China Labour Bulletin, DEMAS, FIDH, Initiatives for China, the International Campaign for Tibet, the International Service for Human Rights, Freedom House, Human Rights in China, Human Rights Without Frontiers, World Organisation Against Torture, Reporters Without Borders, the Society for Threatened Peoples, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, and the World Uyghur Congress.
“The EU has acknowledged that improving human rights in China is essential for the overall EU-China relationship,” Leicht said. 
 “It’s not clear whether EU leaders have the foresight and courage to push for real change with China’s leaders. A failure to do so would suggest that EU human rights pledges are window dressing aimed to make Europeans feel good about themselves – rather than a principled and consistent policy.

Rogue Nation

China's Belt And Road Initiative Does Not Support Globalisation, So Much As Subvert It.
By Douglas Bulloch

In this Monday, May 15, 2017, photo, Xi Jinping, front row third right, waves with leaders attending the Belt and Road Forum as they pose for a group photo at the Yanqi Lake venue on the outskirt of Beijing. They are, front row from left, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Xi, Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, and second row from third left to right, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

Now that the flurry of breathless commentary – occasioned by China's recent 'Belt and Road Forum' – is subsiding, it is time for another look at this Initiative.' 
Following my earlier piece from a couple of weeks ago, clearly there are plenty of commentators prepared to give it a fair wind and who see it very much as a corollary to the familiar narrative of China's rise to hegemonic status. 
Indeed, some see it as a key part of China's laudable effort to support 'globalisation' so warmly welcomed at Davos earlier this year.
Others remain skeptical, suggesting that it is both lacking in detail, and has failed so far to come up with an answer to the strategic, as well as the economic challenges implied. 
One sharp eyed tweeter last week pointed out that the maps which ordinarily decorate the feature puff-pieces usually include Kolkata in India – a country which is becoming ever more hostile to the Belt and Road initiative – revealing most of them to be little more than aspirational doodles.
In fact, insiders have long known that both Russia and India are concerned about strategic encroachment from China on areas of the world they regard as their own spheres of influence, which is one reason why China has so routinely spoken of the project in terms of 'win win' cooperation. 
At least two years ago, for example, Indian sources began to speak of a 'Project Mausam' as their own variation on the same geopolitical theme. 
Now they talk about the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), referred to by Brookings as a 'pivot for India's growth' which neatly mixes a Chinese style acronym, with a dynamic U.S. reference for its own geopolitical aspirations with the 'pivot.'

Conceptual pathways
In each case, the geopolitical term attempts to describe an amorphous set of aspirations which only hints at the ultimate goal. 
For the U.S., the 'pivot' explained something about a hoped for reorientation that has become ever more confused. 
At the same time, India's growing self-confidence as a future economic leviathan also needs some conceptual pathway towards a strategic presence they cannot yet express, economically or militarily.
To many observers it seems so obvious that China is the coming power, that legions of commentators are stumbling over themselves to herald its arrival. 
China is, of course, happy to play along. 
What was 'One Belt, One Road' has now morphed into the 'Belt and Road Initiative' with everyone taking their cues from Beijing and dutifully using the approved acronym while admitting to uncertainty over its scope.
A week or so after the culmination of the 'Belt and Road Forum' in Beijing and the press coverage has turned hostile in India and skeptical elsewhere
Even in China there are quietly expressed doubts about whether it really makes sense in the long run, and indeed, whether China can actually afford it given that such vast infrastructure outlay must generate equally vast returns to pay for it.

Closing down

Setting aside the practical and strategic concerns, there is the small matter of whether China has enough on its plate with its own reform programme? 
Many of those who would like to see China succeed with the Belt and Road Initiative have been cheerleaders in the past for China's opening up, and the broad pathway of liberal reforms they have been following. 
These have come under strain since the elevation of Xi Jinping, but still form a backdrop of expectation, if somewhat deferred. 
Yet while China has become more authoritarian domestically, reversing direction on many market reforms, it has simultaneously taken control of its overseas strategic direction with the Belt and Road Initiative.
There is, therefore, a curious coincidence in the timing of China's most ambitious announcements yet concerning the Belt and Road Initiative, and the progressive closure of China's capital account in the face of unrelenting capital flight. 
Then last week saw the PBOC alter its methodology to include a counter-cyclical factor when weighing the daily rate of the yuan against the US dollar, leading some to suggest this amounts to a re-pegging.
Had China simply liberalised its capital account and allowed the market a decisive role in both capital allocation and price discovery, then the question of where Chinese firms might invest would depend on expected returns. 
However, the current Chinese leadership has stepped back from these long standing commitments and reasserted the central role of the state in economic decision making, through state banks and State Owned Enterprises.
And it is in this approach to driving international trade that the Belt and Road Initiative aligns itself with China's wider retreat from the path of liberal reform. 
Instead of the Belt and Road Initiative serving as a useful conduit for free trade between willing partners, it secures a role for the Chinese state in the direction of trade through investment. 
In other words, it is less the realisation of China's liberal reforms than their final repudiation.
The very idea of the Belt and Road Initiative therefore, might come to be seen as not so much a step forward for China, but as a defensive retreat, an attempt to control the conditions of its opening up, to direct not so much their own affairs, but the affairs of others too. 
It shows as clearly as anything else, that globalisation, as far as China is concerned, comes with conditions, some of which the rest of the world might not be ready to accept.

dimanche 28 mai 2017

Chinese Aggressions

Australia should carry out naval challenge to China's artificial islands: retired defence boss
By David Wroe 

The recently retired Defence head Dennis Richardson has said Australia should carry out its own "freedom-of-navigation" naval operation to challenge China's claim over waters surrounding artificial islands in the South China Sea.
Such a move would provoke an angry response from Beijing, but Mr Richardson, who has been a central figure in Australia's security and foreign affairs establishment for the past two decades, said Australia should not accept the legitimacy of China's man-made territory in the strategically vital waterways.
The USS Dewey conducted a "man overboard" exercise near Mischief Reef on Thursday. 
Asked whether Australia should carry out a naval freedom-of-navigation operation, Mr Richardson said: "I think at some point, we should ... What that point is, being a good old public servant, I'd leave it to the government."
The remarks are highly significant in that they come from such a senior and recently retired national security figure. 
Mr Richardson also led ASIO and the Department of Foreign Affairs and served as ambassador to Washington. 
He retired just over a week ago after a 48-year career.
Dennis Richardson, the former secretary of defence, supports an Australian "freedom-of-navigation" naval operation. 

He also issued a warning to China that North Korea's nuclear program, if left unchecked, could spark a regional arms race with countries such as Japan and South Korea feeling they too have little choice but to go nuclear – a warning that has since also been expressed by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
The US carried out its first freedom-of-navigation operation in the South China Sea under the administration of Donald Trump on Thursday morning, sending the USS Dewey destroyer within the crucial 12-nautical mile territorial zone of Mischief Reef, where China has built an artificial island.
Such operations are designed to signal that a country does not accept the legitimacy of Beijing's claim to the waters around man-made islands built on submerged reefs that are subject to territorial disputes with China's neighbours.
Thursday's operation was the most defiant so far by the US in that the USS Dewey manouevred and carried out an exercise rather than just sailing quickly through the 12-mile zone as the US navy had done twice before under the Obama administration.
One of the islands China has built up in the South China Sea. 

Mr Richardson stressed that Australia should neither telegraph its intentions nor carry out the operations recklessly but should nonetheless send the clear signal that it did not regard China's claims as lawful.
"You don't say anything in advance. You just do it. And you don't have to do it all the time. If you picked your time and did it in the right way, I think that is a sensible thing to do."
A Chinese Navy frigate and a Russian Navy ship take part in a joint naval drill in the South China Sea. 
The law of sea was "very clear", he said. 
Such man-made features did not generate a 12-nautical mile claim to waters around them.
"And for China to create artificial features more than 1000 kilometres from their own coastline and then want to claim territorial sea around them is not something that we should by implication accept," he said.

Up to two-thirds of of Australia's exports travel through the South China Sea. 
Strategic analysts and regional governments including Australia's have become increasingly concerned by China's steady militarisation of these artificial islands and its claims over surrounding waters. 
Those claims have been contradicted by a ruling by an international tribunal in the Hague.
On North Korea, Mr Richardson said China needed to realise it had as much interest as the US in reining in North Korea's nuclear weapons program.
"How will Japan, how will [South] Korea, how will other countries in the region respond to a nuclear-armed North Korea with accurate missiles?" he said.
"What happens if other countries or some other country decides the only way we can safeguard ourselves is to be nuclear armed ourselves? Is that what any of us want?"

Chinese Peril

Japan's growing concern over China's naval might
By Alexander Neill

The pride of Japan's naval defence, the JS Izumo, is making an unprecedented journey through Asian waters over the next three months.
The Izumo is the largest vessel built by Japan since the end of World War Two -- and she looks very much like an aircraft carrier.
She has already participated in Singapore's first ever fleet review, an international naval gathering with fleets from Asia and beyond to demonstrate their power.
There is growing support in Japan for a more strident response to Chinese military assertiveness around Japanese waters and Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force has been increasingly active in the region.
It is all part of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's determination to loosen constitutional strictures over the role of Japan's self-defence forces.
The sea is where this is playing out right now.
Japanese navy officials are careful to describe the ship as a "helicopter destroyer" capable of carrying more than 20 helicopters from its expansive flight deck, and thus playing down any offensive capabilities forbidden under Japan's constitution.
Against the backdrop of China's narrative of humiliation at the hands of Japanese imperial forces during World War Two, the transit of the Izumo through the South China Sea is particularly sensitive for China, since Japan has been very vocal in its support of a ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration overwhelmingly against China's claims to a large expanse of the South China Sea and its features.

Japan's new military role
The widening of Japanese naval operations in the South China Sea and beyond is also a response to a more pressing concern for Japan: China's own relentless drive to dominate the waters around Japan.
Chinese critics of Japan's naval modernisation will point out that with a few minor adjustments, this ship could carry vertical take-off and landing fighter jets, including the F-35 stealth fighter.
For China, therefore, the Izumo and the latest additions to the JMSDF fleet are both a symbol of a new era of military expansionism under Prime Minister Abe's administration and a painful reminder of China's wartime humiliation.
The Izumo is a helicopter carrier and the largest vessel built by Japan since the end of WW2

For Japan's navy, however, impressive vessels such as the Izumo serve a dual purpose.
They are both a symbol of the JMOD's desire to make a greater contribution to regional and international security and an example of Japan's contribution to its alliance with the United States.
This was shown recently when the Izumo escorted a US navy supply vessel in a joint manoeuvre not designated as a military exercise, under the auspices of a revised Article 9 of Japan's constitution, which outlaws war as a way to settle disputes.
Japan's defence industries, long fettered by Japan's pacifist constitution now feel emboldened to compete for defence contracts far from home.
Japan's new Kawasaki P-1 Maritime Patrol aircraft flew all the way to the Farnborough air show two years ago for a demonstration to the British MoD and last year, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries campaigned to supply a new generation of submarines for the Australian navy.

Territorial disputes over Senkaku
Japan's navy and coast guard in recent years have also been under increasing pressure to respond to China's campaign of incursions into Japan's territorial waters and frequent transits of vessels and aircraft through the numerous straits of the Japanese archipelago.
A focal point for such rivalry are the Senkaku islands.
Until 2012 when the Japanese government purchased the islands from their private owners, Chinese maritime law enforcement vessels seldom intruded into Japanese territorial waters.
Chinese outrage at the purchase triggered sustained incursions into Japanese waters at up to three incursions per month.
Two years later the Japanese maritime agencies were alarmed to detect armaments on Chinese coast guard vessels and that Chinese navy frigates and destroyers were being transformed into white-hulled law enforcement vessels.
Recently such vessels have been increasing in size from 3 or 4,000 tonne to 10,000-tonne vessels.
While in 2012, Japanese and Chinese coast guard vessel numbers were roughly similar at 51 and 40 respectively, the Japanese government estimates that by 2019, the numbers will have swung hugely in favour of China at 135 vessels versus Japan's 65.
And there have been an increasing number of other concerning incidents for Japan in recent years.

Rising tensions
In June 2016 the Japanese destroyer Setogiri spotted a PLA Navy Jiangkai class frigate entering the contiguous zone around the Senkakus at the same time as a group of Russian navy vessels transited the same waters.
That same month, Chinese naval intelligence-gathering ships entered Japan's territorial sea near Kuchinerabujima and Yakushima islands for the first time and in the southern waters of the Senkaku islands.
One particularly unnerving episode for Japan began in early August 2016 when a China coast guard vessel escorted 300 Chinese fishing vessels into waters around the Senkakus, and over four days a total of 15 coast guard ships repeatedly intruded into the waters, half of them armed.
The Japanese defence ministry suspects that many of the Chinese fishing vessels belonged to the maritime militia.
Meanwhile, the number of Japanese scrambles against Chinese aircraft around the East China Sea and towards the Senkakus has jumped dramatically, surpassing even the annual peak number of 994 during the Cold War.
Japan's Senkaku islands lie near potential oil and gas reserves

Japanese fighter patrols have also encountered challenging behaviour by Chinese PLA Air Force pilots in a similar vein to the increasing number of dangerous encounters between US and Chinese aircraft over the East and South China Seas.
The final element to China's saturation of the East China Sea is its unilateral construction of 12 new gas platforms adjacent to the Japan-China geographical equidistance line in an area agreed as a joint development zone between the countries.
It is concerned that radars deployed by China on some of the platforms could be used in support of military operations.

China's strategic vision
For Mr Abe, the Izumo is a military instrument which could be deployed under his recent proposal to change Japan's constitution to allow a more assertive Japanese defence posture.
The deployment of Japan's naval assets further afield and more diversely alongside those of the US also helps to answer Donald Trump's calls for more burden-sharing within the alliance.
But most importantly, the Japanese government sees a direct link between China's behaviour in the South and East China Seas.
China recently launched its own first domestically-built aircraft carrier

The wider deployment and sustained presence of Japanese vessels throughout the region therefore underpins Shinzo Abe's consistent demands for China to abide by a "rules-based international order", which includes freedom of navigation through international waters.
However for China, the clamour for a rules-based order is simply camouflage for the perpetuation of a US regional hegemony and what the Chinese leadership describe as "outmoded Cold War thinking".
China has its own vision for regional security and a new geo-strategic plan accompanying it in the form of the the 'Belt and Road initiative', providing an alternative to US dominance in the region.
For China's new maritime Silk Road to succeed, it needs to secure its seas on its own terms but that means the potential for an unmanaged escalation between Japan and China increases substantially.

The Necessary War: India vs. China

If 2.6 Billion People Go To War
By Kyle Mizokami

A hypothetical war between India and China would be one of the largest and most destructive conflicts in Asia. 
A war between the two powers would rock the Indo-Pacific region, cause millions of casualties on both sides and take a significant toll on the global economy. 
Geography and demographics would play a unique role, limiting the war’s scope and ultimately the conditions of victory.
India and China border one another in two distinct locations: Aksai Chin in India’s north, and Arunachal Pradesh in the country’s northeast. 
China has made claims on both locations, which from China’s perspective belong to the far western East Turkestan and China-occupied Tibet. 
China invaded both Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh in 1962, with both sides fighting a monthlong war that resulted in minor Chinese gains on the ground.
Both countries have such large populations, each over 1.3 billion, that they are essentially unconquerable. 
Like all modern wars, a war between India and China would be fought over land, sea, and air; geography would limit the scope of the land conflict, while it would be the air conflict, fought with both aircraft and missiles, that would do the most damage to both countries. 
The trump card, however, may be India’s unique position to dominate a sea conflict, with dire consequences for the Chinese economy.
A war between the two countries would, unlike the 1962 war, involve major air action on both sides. Both countries maintain large tactical air forces capable of flying missions over the area. 
People’s Liberation Army Air Force units would fly from the Lanzhou Military Region against Aksai Chin, and from the expansive Chengdu Military Region against Arunachal Pradesh. 
The Lanzhou district is home to J-11 and J-11B fighters, two regiments of H-6 strategic bombers, and a grab bag of J-7 and J-8 fighters. 
A lack of forward bases in Xinjiang means the Lanzhou Military Region could probably only support a limited air campaign against northern India. 
The Chengdu Military Region is home to advanced J-11A and J-10 fighters, but there are relatively few military airfields in Tibet anywhere near India.
Still, China does not necessarily need tactical aircraft to do great damage to India. 
China could supplement its aerial firepower with ballistic missiles from the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Forces. 
The PLARF overseas both nuclear, conventional and dual-use ballistic missiles, and could conceivably move up to two thousand short- and medium-range DF-11, DF-15 and DF-21 ballistic missiles into positions adjacent to India. 
These missiles could be used to blitz Indian strategic targets on the ground, at the cost of making them unavailable for contingencies in the South and East China Seas.
Meanwhile, India’s air forces are in a better position to contest the skies than their Chinese counterparts. 
While the war would take place on China’s sparsely manned frontier, New Delhi is only 213 miles from the Tibetan frontier. 
India’s air fleet of 230 Su-30Mk1 Flankers, sixty-nine MiG-29s and even its Mirage 2000s are competitive with or even better than most of China’s aircraft in theater, at least until the J-20 fighter becomes operational. 
India likely has enough aircraft to deal with a two-front war, facing off with Pakistan’s Air Force at the same time. 
India is also fielding the Akash medium-range air defense missile system to protect air bases and other high-value targets.
While India could be reasonably confident of having an air force that deters war, at least in the near term, it has no way of stopping a Chinese ballistic-missile offensive. 
Chinese missile units, firing from Xinjiang and Tibet, could hit targets across the northern half of India with impunity. 
India has no ballistic-missile defenses and does not have the combined air- and space-based assets necessary to hunt down and destroy the missile launchers. 
India’s own ballistic missiles are dedicated to the nuclear mission and would be unavailable for conventional war.
The war on the ground between the Indian and Chinese armies might at first glance seem like the most decisive phase of the war, but it’s actually quite the opposite. 
Both theaters, the Aksai Chin/Xijiang theater and the Arunachal Pradesh/Tibet theater are in rugged locations with little transportation infrastructure, making it difficult to send a mechanized army through. 
Massed attacks could be easily stopped with artillery as attacking forces are funneled through well-known valleys and mountain passes. 
Despite the enormous size of both armies—1.2 million for India and 2.2 million for China—fighting on the ground would likely be a stalemate with little lost or gained.
The war at sea would be the decisive front in a conflict between the two countries. 
Sitting astride the Indian Ocean, India lies on China’s jugular vein. 
The Indian Navy, with its force of submarines, aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and surface ships could easily curtail the the flow of trade between China and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. 
It would take the Chinese Navy weeks to assemble and sail a fleet capable of contesting the blockade. Even then, the blockade would be hard to break up, conducted over the thousands of square miles of the Indian Ocean.
Meanwhile, shipping to and from China would be forced to divert through the western Pacific Ocean, where such diversions would be vulnerable to Australian, Japanese, or American naval action. 
87 percent of the country’s petroleum needs are imported from abroad, particularly the Middle East and Africa. 
China’s strategic petroleum reserves, once completed sometime in the 2020s, could stave off a nationwide fuel shortage for up to seventy-seven days—but after that Beijing would have to seek an end to the war however possible.
The second-order effects of the war at sea would be India’s greatest weapon. 
War jitters, the shock to the global economy, and punitive economic action by India’s allies—including Japan and the United States—could see demands for exports fall, with the potential to throw millions of Chinese laborers out of work. 
Domestic unrest fueled by economic troubles could become a major problem for the Chinese Communist Party and its hold on the nation. 
China has no similar lever over India, except in the form of a rain of ballistic missiles with high-explosive warheads on New Delhi and other major cities.
A war between India and China would be nasty, brutal and short, with far-reaching consequences for the global economy. 
The balance of power and geographic constraints means a war would almost certainly fail to prove decisive. 
World War III Casualties
2016 PopulationKilledSurvivors
CHINA1 373 541 2781 057 119 68977%316 421 589
UNITED STATES323 995 52819 089 7836%304 905 745
EUROPEAN UNION513 949 445371 356 95872%142 592 487
RUSSIA142 355 41530 924 81622%111 430 599
INDIA1 266 883 5981 158 499 17491%108 384 424
PAKISTAN201 995 540175 747 47387%26 248 067
JAPAN126 702 133114 241 88990%12 460 244
VIETNAM95 261 02184 340 68889%10 920 333
PHILIPPINES102 624 20992 732 90290%9 891 307
KOREA, NORTH25 115 31121 141 05084%3 974 261
KOREA, SOUTH50 924 17247 636 30294%3 287 870
TAIWAN23 464 78722 278 49095%1 186 297
4 246 812 4373 195 109 21475%1 051 703 223